OCTOBER TIDE, the Swedish melodic death/doom metal band, has returned with a haunting new album, “The Cancer Pledge.” Released on June 3, 2022, the album delves deeper into the band’s signature sound, offering listeners an emotional yet cathartic journey through sorrow and darkness.
Formed in 1995, OCTOBER TIDE was initially a side project for Katatonia’s founding member and guitarist, Fredrik Norrman. With a lineup consisting of Norrman’s fellow Katatonia member, vocalist Jonas Renkse, and guitarist Emil Alstermark, bassist Johan Jönsegård, and drummer Alexander Högbom, OCTOBER TIDE quickly established their own unique sound within the melodic death/doom metal genre.
“The Cancer Pledge” marks the band’s sixth full-length album, building upon the atmospheric and melancholic elements that have become their calling card. This time around, OCTOBER TIDE delivers an even darker and introspective record, delving into themes of suffering, loss, and human frailty.
The album opener, “The Shallowing,” immediately sets the tone with its haunting melodies and Renkse’s distinct and mournful vocals. The song encapsulates the band’s ability to create a soundscape that is both crushing and emotionally evocative. Throughout the album, the mournful guitar riffs and atmospheric keyboards weave a tapestry of desolation, perfectly complemented by the contrast between Renkse’s guttural growls and his clean, emotive singing.
Songs like “I, The Polluter” and “House of Whispers” showcase OCTOBER TIDE’s ability to seamlessly blend aggression with melodic beauty. The band masterfully uses dynamics to create moments of intense heaviness that punctuate the overall atmosphere of sorrow and desolation. Each track feels meticulously crafted, leaving the listener emotionally drained yet fulfilled.
“The Cancer Pledge” stands out not just for its exceptional musicianship but also for its lyrical depth. The album explores the pain of living and the inevitability of suffering. It delves into the struggles of those touched by cancer, offering a profound and intimate glimpse into the human experience. Renkse’s poignant lyrics reflect the darkness and turmoil experienced by both the individual suffering and those left behind.
While “The Cancer Pledge” is undeniably a heavy and gloomy album, it also offers a sense of solace and healing. The music carries an inherent beauty that uplifts the listener, even in the face of sorrow. It is this duality that makes OCTOBER TIDE’s music so compelling and resonant. Their ability to blend crushing heaviness with delicate and mournful melodies is what sets them apart in the melodic death/doom metal genre.
“The Cancer Pledge” is a testament to OCTOBER TIDE’s prowess as musicians and their ability to evoke raw emotions through their music. It is a potent offering that will appeal to fans of both melodic death metal and doom metal alike. From start to finish, the album takes the listener on an intense and cathartic journey, leaving a lasting impact long after the final notes fade away.
In conclusion, OCTOBER TIDE’s “The Cancer Pledge” is a masterful album that continues to push the boundaries of the melodic death/doom metal genre. With its profound lyrics, captivating melodies, and atmospheric soundscapes, the album is a testament to the band’s artistic growth and their ability to create music that is both emotionally heavy and cathartic.